My friends Andrew and Ariel served this at their wedding.

Barberries (a tiny, very tart, red fruit) are sold in nut shops such as Tavazo ( or Persian grocery stores. Some may find barberries too tart; use cranberries instead. Adapted from A Taste of Persia by Najmieh Batmanglij.


You can use the dressing to stuff a whole fish, or lay it on fillets, then roll them into thick pinwheels and secure with skewers. If you prefer, use it to stuff a chicken, or simply bake it and serve it as a side dish. 

3 tbsp canola oil

5 green onions, thinly sliced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/4 cup chopped mint leaves

2 tbsp chopped tarragon leaves

1 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves

1 cup walnut pieces

1/4 cup dried barberries or dried cranberries

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1-1/2 lb (675 g) boneless, skinless fillets white fish (such as pickerel, cod or tilapia), washed, patted dry, cut in portion sizes

1/2 tsp saffron threads, ground, dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water

In medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium. Add onions, garlic, parsley, mint, tarragon and cilantro. Cook, stirring, 7 minutes. Stir in walnuts, barberries or cranberries, raisins, lime juice, salt and pepper. (Makes about 2 cups.) Transfer to greased casserole dish.

In separate casserole dish, arrange fish in single layer. Drizzle with saffron water and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Bake nut and herb mixture and fish at same time in preheated 400F oven until fish flakes easily with fork, about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on fillet thickness.

Divide nut and herb mixture evenly among 4 plates. Lay equal portions fish over each.

Makes 4 servings.

Star-tested by Jennifer Bain


January 14, 2019 — Alex Melen